Joseph “Joe” Baczuk
1927 ~ 2017
Joe Baczuk, beloved husband of Leona (nee Bye) for 56 years, passed away peacefully at the Milk River Health Centre at the age of 89 years.
Dad was born on December 24, 1927 in Milk River, where he spent his entire life. He was proud to call himself a farmer and a Hungarian. Joe attended John Joe School to the end of Grade 8, when he began farming full time.
On June 9, 1960, Joe married Leona Bye in Sunburst, Montana. They lived on the home place south west of Milk River, where they raised their 5 daughters. No matter how hard the work, Dad loved being a farmer, and he especially loved tractors. He loved driving them, fixing them, and collecting them. In addition to a large number of antique tractors, Dad also built up an extensive collection of toy tractors over the years.
One of Joe’s greatest pleasures was spending time visiting with family and friends. Dad enjoyed going for coffee in town, having company over, or stopping in to visit just about anywhere. Dad loved country music, watching westerns (John Wayne was a favorite!), KFC, and especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Hobbies included leather working, selling Smith-Roles farm equipment, hunting, bowling, tractors and attending auctions. Joe was an active member of the Outdoorsmen, the 1-17 Club, the Warner Gun Club and was a lifetime member of the Elks Club.
Joe is lovingly remembered by his wife Leona, and his daughters Monica Baczuk, Bev Baczuk (David English), Valerie (Billy) Schamber, Ina Baczuk (Brent Schaible) and Jeanie Baczuk (Brendan Cummins), grandchildren Kendall (Chad) Valgardson, Lance (Caitlyn) Schamber, Chad Patey, Ashleigh English and Skye Cummins, and great grandchildren Wyatt and Weston Valgardson and Kaceton Schamber. He is also survived by his brother Louie Baczuk, sisters Bertha (Jim) Culver, Loretta (Art) Kalau, and Caroline (Ed) Makarenko, brother in law Lloyd Pedersen, sister in law Betty Baczuk and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and the many friends who he made feel like family.
Dad was predeceased by his parents Steve and Magdalene Baczuk, brothers John Baczuk, Steve Baczuk and Chester Baczuk, and sisters Magdalene Baczuk, Margaret (Frank) Garber, Irene Pedersen and Mary (Alastair) Gilchrist; father and mother-in-law Lawrence and Eva Bye; brothers-in-law Eldon (Megan) Bye and Ralph (Irene) Bye.
Many of Dad’s friends called him “Smiling Joe”, and he will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather as well as for his kindness, sense of humor and loyal friendship. Happy Farming, Dad.